While I was watching the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game this afternoon, the Pirates announcer, Greg Brown, mentioned that the San Diego Padres were in a spot of financial trouble, and that got me thinking. Why not purchase the Padres, and move them to Buffalo?
Yes, I realize that this is a pipe dream, but hey, so was trading Derek Roy, and look what happened.
Anyways, Coca Cola Field currently has the capacity for 18 025 people, and the stadium was built, with the ability to easily expand seating to major league capacity, in hopes that the National League would grant an expansion franchise to Buffalo, which was ultimately rejected, in favour of the Colorado Rockies and the Florida (now Miami) Marlins. The Bisons would need to add at least 16 000 seats in order to not be the smallest ballpark in either league. (Just for reference, the newly constructed Marlins Park in Miami, FL has a capacity of 36 742). We have the ability to accommodate a major league baseball team, and the construction/renovation of Coca Cola Field will put Buffalonians into work, and possibly provide an economic boost for the city.
Yes, I do realize that, as I am writing this, we are worried about losing the Bills, but, to be perfectly honest, I feel that a baseball team is more sustainable and honestly, better for the city of Buffalo. The Bisons are located right in downtown Buffalo, as compared to the Bills, who are located in Orchard Park, outside of city limits. The NFTA metro line rights right by the ballpark, with Seneca Station being almost right next to the stadium, providing easy access, and with the Padres coming to Buffalo, the major league team would be a bigger draw, and more people would use the subway, and bring in more money for NFTA.
Now, I have been to my fair share of Bisons games, and realize that the games are sparsely attended. Hell, I buy tickets, and walk up straight to field level, and watch the game from there. However, that is due to the problem of being a minor league team, in all honestly. it is just a whole lot harder to come to games, cheer, and as soon as a player does good, have him called up to the majors. For example, Jordany Valdespin in the picture above, became one of the Bisons best players, and has been called up to the New York Mets.
Or even better, the parent club switches, and the entire team is gone, and with these jerseys now, a whole new jersey change as well. With a National League team, the attendance would skyrocket, and the local interest would skyrocket. In additional, the major league television contracts would make the games more available on TV, which will increase the casual fan interest, bringing more people to the ballpark.
In addition, with the Padres coming to Buffalo, the possibility of an all Buffalo regional sports network, even if it was an affiliate like Fox Sports Buffalo, Root Sports Buffalo, or etc. or even MSG still owning the station, but making it a full Buffalo station, with the Bisons/Padres in the summer, and the Sabres in the winter, with spring and fall being overlap between the two.
Dear Mr. Pegula, make it happen, and bring the San Diego Padres to the Queen City. They can keep their history, logo, uniforms and all of that in San Diego however.